Behind The ScenesNCAAF

Scherzer, Young among stars aligning for College Football Playoff campaign spot

Lakers star Young is a “natural” when it comes to acting

Front Row also asked Nick Young, the Los Angeles Lakers swingman and former University of Southern California star, about his experience acting and singing alongside Scherzer, Kimmel and others.

Why did you join this campaign?
I said yes to being involved because USC is college football. I thought it was a perfect fit for me.

How much of a college football fan are you and what are your final four predictions?
I am a big college football fan. I’m sad to say that my team, USC, is not going to be involved this year but I know we will be back! I don’t really have any predictions yet.

How many takes did it take to nail your part in the commercial?
I am a natural. Swaggy is a one-taker.

Finding a happening New Year’s Eve party can be tough. But for Jimmy Kimmel, Kelly Rowland, Josh Duhamel, Max Scherzer, Robin Thicke and Nick Young, this task is a whole lot easier.

They’re ringing in 2016 with friends and family watching the College Football Playoff (CFP) Semifinals in ESPN’s new star-studded commercial “It’s Playoff Time.”

The video reminds fans of America’s new sports holiday – the Semifinals on New Year’s Eve (Capital One Orange Bowl and Goodyear Cotton Bowl). The spot debuted Monday in time for tonight’s unveiling of the CFP Selection Committee’s first official ranking of the season (ESPN, 7 p.m. ET).

In the 60-second video, the latest installment of ESPN’s College Football Playoff “Who’s In?” campaign, Kimmel and Thicke lead party guests in singing a Playoff rendition of the iconic New Year’s Eve tune “Auld Lang Syne,” complete with unique lyrics geared toward the Playoff.

Additional celebrities starring in the video include: ABC sitcom stars Tracee Ellis Ross (“Black*ish”), Ken Jeong (“Dr. Ken”), Kimmel’s late-night sidekick Guillermo. NFL stars Antonio Cromartie, Dwight Freeney and Pro Football Hall Of Famer Ronnie Lott. Mascots from Alabama, TCU, Baylor, Michigan State, Georgia and UCLA are also joining in the festivities.

As a lifelong University of Missouri fan, Washington Nationals star Scherzer told Front Row that he had a blast being involved in the campaign, which was filmed last month in Los Angeles.

“It was a great opportunity to promote a sport I love with an amazing group of sports legends, incredible musicians and some of the funniest actors in the business,” he said. “It was fun listening to Kelly Rowland sing – she has an amazing voice. I found out that Jimmy Kimmel’s wife grew up in the same town as me (Chesterfield, Mo.).

“I also really enjoyed talking to Ronnie Lott, he had a lot of great advice and was fun to talk football with him. Ken Jeong was just as funny off camera as he is in his movie roles.”

Who does Scherzer forecast as the four schools in the Playoff?

“TCU, Ohio State, Alabama and Clemson.”

The campaign was created in collaboration with Wieden + Kennedy New York. Several more spots as well as digital, print and social elements will run through the crowning of the National Champion in January 2016.

Editor’s note: If the video embedded below does not play on your device, click here.

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